MODAL VERBS P.5

this units helps understand modal verbs better and how they are used in English grammar

MODAL VERBS (MK Precise PP 152)

 

Modal verbs are special groups of verbs which go before the main verb.

SubjectModal verbMain verb
ICanWalk
YouCouldCome
HeMightLeave
TheyWillTry
SuzanWouldDrive
Shall
Ought to
Must
Need to

 

Modal verbs talking about ability.

 

Examples

  1. Minge can drive

Minge knows how to drive

  1. I can speak French

I know how to speak French

 

Activity

Rewrite the following sentences in negative.

  1. Tom can swim
  2. The headmaster can play tennis.
  3. He could play football when he was young.
  4. Those boys can help us.
  5. They should wash those plates.

 

Modal verbs talking about permission.

 

Examples

  1. Can I use your pen, please?

Yes of course

  1. Could I sit down here, please?

Yes of course

No, I am afraid not.

  1. May I come in?

Yes, of course

No, I’m afraid not

 

Model verbs taking about request.

Examples

  1. Can you help me please?
  2. Could you answer the phone, please?
  3. Would you post this letter, Please?

 

Activity

Revision English Pgs 44 – 45

 

Modal verbs about obligation

Obligation simply refers to rules, orders or duties.

We use: must, have to, should, ought to etc

 

Examples

  1. It’s late. You must do your homework.
  2. You should help me push this wheelbarrow.
  3. You ought to get a job.
  4. You must stay in bed.
  5. If there are no rules, orders or duties use: You don’t have to.

 

Modal talking about necessity

If you want to talk about things it is necessary to use. “I have to ….,

I must …….or I need to…….

 

Examples

Sentences and their meanings

  1. He has to walk to school.

(It is necessary for him to walk to school)

  1. I must get a new passport.

(It is necessary to get a new passport)

  1. I need to buy some petrol.

(It is necessary to buy some petrol)

  1. He had to go to hospital.

(It was necessary to go to hospital)

NB If there is no necessity use: I don’t need to …..or I don’t have to ……..

 

Examples

  1. You don’t have to run, you are not late.

(It is not necessary for you to run because you are not late)

  1. You don’t need to get there till 9 o’clock.

(It is not necessary to get there before 9 o’clock)

 

3a) We mustn’t run.

(We are not allowed to run)

  1. b) We don’t have to run.

(It is not necessary for us to run)

 

Modal verbs talking about probability

If you want to talk about the chances(risks) of something happening or not happening you can use: may, could, might, but not can.

 

Examples

  1. It could rain tomorrow.
  2. It may crash.
  3. We might win.

You may put not after may and might for the negative.

Examples

She may not come.

They might not like it.

ACTIVITY: Learners construct oral and written using

Modals talking about possibility

You use can / could to say that situations or events are / were possible.

 

Examples

  1. It can be quite cold in April.
  2. Smoking can damage your health.
  3. It could be very lonely on the island in those days.

NB: You can ask question about how possible things are with can / could.

Can this be true? Could it happen?

You can also ask.

Do you think…………..will…………..?

Example

Do you think they’ll come?

 

Modal verbs used when making offers.

If you want to do something for somebody, e.g help somebody or buy somebody a drink, you can say:

I’ll……………

Shall I…………………?

Can I………………….?

Would you like………………?

 

Examples

  1. I’ll carry that for you.
  2. Shall I do the washing up?
  3. Can I give you a lift?
  4. Would you like a cup of coffee?

THIS VIDEO SHOWS THE USE OF MODAL VERBS

You can answer these questions with

Thank you

Yes, please

No, thank you

No, thanks

 

More examples

  1. I’ll pay for this   – Thank you.
  2. Shall I open the window? – Yes, please.

 

Modal verbs giving advice

If you want to advise someone what to do

Can say

You must…………

You should…………………

You ought to………………….

“Must is stronger than “should” and “ought to”

 

Examples

  1. You must buy a new suitcase.
  2. You should be more careful.
  3. You ought to eat more fruit.

If you want to advise somebody not to do something you can say:

 

You must not…. (mustn’t) ……

You should not (shouldn’t)…..

 

 Examples

  1. You mustn’t smoke so much.
  2. You shouldn’t ask so many questions.

NB: “Mustn’t” is stronger than “shouldn’t”

“Oughtn’t” is very uncommon.

If you want to ask for advice, you can say:

Should I…………….?

Should we…………….?

 

Example:

Should we call an ambulance?

ACTIVITY: Learners write affirmative to negative

Cain was jealous of his brother Abel.

I prefer posho to bananas.

She was absent from duty yesterday.

 

Activity: English Aid 5 Pgs 32 – 3

Mk: Precise Grammar 172 – 175

The use of ….must /mustn’t…..

Must :   we use must only when something is necessary. It is used in the affirmative or positive sentences only.

Examples.

  • John must be pretending.
  • Peter must be sick.
  • We must wash our hands after using the toilets.

Must not(mustn’t): it is used when one is sure of the necessity for something. But it is used in the negative statements only.

Examples.

  • He must not accompany me because he is young.
  • You mustn’t play with that naughty boy.
  • You mustn’t reach school late tomorrow.
  • I mustn’t visit him again because he abused me.
  • You mustn’t waste our money.

Exercise.

Use…must or…mustn’t in the following sentences.

  1. He needs to do it alone in order to understand.
  2. They needn’t worry about it.
  3. We needn’t go by air.
  4. I needn’t copy my neighbors work
  5. John needs to go to church tomorrow.
  6. The city was crowded. There ………..be an important visitor.
  7. She is looking unhappy. She …………………..be sick.
  8. She can’t be preparing for marriage because she is still very young
  9. I can’t fast when I am sick. I ……………..be fooling myself.
  10. No, the manager is a tall man. You ……………be talking about a different man.
  11. He ………………a thief. Where does he get all that money?
  12. He is not a Ugandan. He …………………be a Presidential Candidate.
  13. She is making a wide smile. She …………………..be happy to see us.
  14. He …………………..be at the University. He is still young.
  15. She dresses expensively. Her father…………………be a very rich man.
  16. He …………………..be coming from Kampala. His car is covered with dust.
  17. She …………………..get a first grade in P.L.E. because she passed all the subjects in the Mock Exams.
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